249596 Effect of using prayer for coping on long-term depression and anxiety after open-heart surgery

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 11:15 AM

Amy Ai, PhD , Department of Social Work, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Hoa B. Appel, PhD, MPH , Research, Researcher, Everett, WA
K. Ladd, PhD , School of, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburg, PA
Despite the growing evidence for effects of religious factors on cardiac health in general populations, findings are not always consistent in older and less healthy populations. We previously demonstrated that short-term negative outcomes of depression and anxiety among over 200 adults following open heart surgery are partially alleviated when patients employ prayer as part of their coping strategy. The present study examines multifaceted effects of religious factors on long-term postoperative adjustment, extending our previous findings concerning prayer and coping with cardiac disease. Analyses capitalized on a preoperative survey and medical variables from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons' National Database of patients undergoing open-heart surgery. The current participants completed a mailed survey 30 months following surgery. Two hierarchical regressions were performed to evaluate the extent to which religious factors predicted depression and anxiety after controlling for key demographics, medical indices and mental health. The results revealed that the preoperative use of prayer for coping, optimism and hope predicted lower levels of depression post-surgery. Subjective religiousness, marital status and hope predicted lower levels of anxiety after surgery. Also, reverence in religious contexts, preoperative mental health symptoms and medical comorbidity were associated with poorer judgment post-surgery. Including optimism and hope in the model did not eliminate the effects of religious factors. Several other religious factors had no long-term influences. The influence of religious factors on the long-term postoperative adjustment is independent and complex, with mediating factors yet to be determined. Future research should investigate mechanisms underlying religion-health relations.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify how prayer as a coping mechanism in open-heart surgery patients helps patients cope after surgery. 2. List the effects of religious factors on long-term postoperative adjustment in open heart surgery patients. 3. Identify which religious factors used pre-operatively to alleviate depression and anxiety in post open heart surgery patients.

Keywords: Coping, Religion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was one of the co-author on this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.